A proud mum has spoken of how a riding for the disabled group has transformed her young son’s life.
Lisa Hinett said Haworth RDA had achieved fantastic things with 13-year-old Noah, which she and her husband Gary could not have hoped for.
“It is a wonderful place and the work it does is just incredible,” said Mrs Hinett, of Westfield Crescent in Riddlesden.
Noah – who has cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy – began attending sessions at the Vale Mill Lane stables eight years ago. He had started going to an RDA group at St Ives in Harden, but times didn’t suit and he could only get there during school holidays.
“Noah was learning to walk at that time and needed the riding regularly, and Haworth RDA provided more flexibility,” said Mrs Hinett.
“He took to the riding fantastically well, and it has helped him in so many different ways. It has corrected his posture and helped him to control himself.
“He needs to be accompanied by side walkers when he’s riding because he gets so excited, but it has given him a feeling of independence. He is now walking and his confidence has increased.
“And he’s interacting with other children in pastime activity, which has assisted him enormously.”
Noah, a pupil at Beechcliffe School in Keighley, takes part in riding sessions every Saturday morning.
“He loves it and really looks forward to it,” added Mrs Hinett. “At one presentation evening Noah won an award for sitting calmly on a horse. We were bowled over! So much hard work goes into improving skills we didn’t know he had.”
She said there was also an invaluable social and support aspect to involvement in Haworth RDA. “We are supported by other families with children in the same situation and there are lots of social events you can take part in,” she added.
Last week it was announced Haworth RDA’s future had been secured with a lottery windfall. It has been awarded £406,751 by the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme, which will enable the charity to maintain its current staffing levels.
Jackie Butterfield, the group’s founder and manager, said everyone was “over the moon” at the renewed funding.
The group has half-a-dozen paid staff and a team of about 60 volunteers, providing activities for riders aged from four upwards.
It has grown rapidly since its foundation in 2001.